Marketing Love

Striding down the endless hallway of the Mayo Clinic, I passed hurting people on all sides.  This wasn’t about being heroic; I simply wanted to make my day about more than a doctor appointment.

“Okay, Lord. Who?”  My book felt sweaty in my hand.

Copy number one went to the sweet lady in a wheelchair. “Oohhh,” she said, pursing  fuchsia lips.  “It looks wonderful.  Thank you, Dear.”

Copy number two returned to me with the cold shoulder of rejection.  I kept walking because I couldn’t shake off the possibility that God might still want to do something. Besides, I was stubborn and didn’t want to go home with the book.  When I got to the end of the hallway, I discovered I’d inadvertently funneled into a large waiting room.

“Okay, God.  What now?”

Doing a three-sixty over a sea of people, I tried to look inconspicuous.  Then, with a puff of a prayer, I picked a pleasant-looking lady.  She’d be the one.  I took a deep breath and plopped myself down with only a chair between us.

After a minute of pretending to read my own book, I cleared my throat.  It worked.  We made eye contact.

“Hi,” I began.  “This may sound strange, but I prayed God would lead me to someone I could bless with this free inspirational book, and I feel it’s you.  May I give you this?  I wrote it.”

Her eyes lit up.  “Oh, bless you,” she said, glazing with tears.  No fanfare, just a simple exchange.  I went home happy and bookless.

Two or three weeks went by and apart from a few imaginations of finding “A Friend in the Storm” in a thrift shop, I basically forgot about my give-aways.  That is, until three days ago, when I received this heart-stopping email from Sara, a friend I hadn’t talked to for months:

Dear Cheryl,

I talked to my neighbor & friend about 2 weeks ago, Krista Flint.  She had an amazing story of being touched by God’s love through a stranger.  And that stranger was YOU!  It gave me goose bumps to hear of how she had been going through so much and that you sat beside her in the waiting room and gave her your book.

She was so blessed by your words, kindness, & the power of your poems. She said that she knew that God was near, but it was so comforting to hear it from someone! So I wanted you to know that your choice to follow God’s nudge to go to the waiting room and give “someone” your book was exactly what God planned for you & Krista!! It was so exciting to hear how God did that for both of you.

Sara’s P.S. explained that Krista was a breast cancer survivor.  Later, the same day I gave her my book, she was in a major car accident.  Although her car was totaled, she somehow managed to make it through it okay.  “A Friend in the Storm” gave her peace and reminded her that God has a purpose.

“Make use of every opportunity.”  Ephesians 5:16

When we ask God to go before us and use us for His glory, He makes a way.

Until heaven, we can’t possibly grasp all the ways God uses us to reach others.  We simply rejoice in these glimpses.

Giving away books is only one of many ways we can be God’s messengers.  We can also share personal notes, Scripture cards, and post cards or business cards with thought-provoking quotes or concepts from our books.

One time, when I gave a waitress a poem card, she threw her arms around me and burst into tears.  The Lord used a simple poem to reach into her heart and start a healing conversation.  Don’t you love how the Holy Spirit works behind the scenes?

How do you share marketing love?  I’d love to hear stories of how God used you and your words.

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20 thoughts on “Marketing Love

  1. Yes, I do love “how the Holy Spirit works behind the scenes,” and I loved reading your post, Cheryl. What a wonderful story! I rejoice with you “in this glimpse” and look forward to hearing more of these stories. Thanks for your encouraging reminder of the eternal difference our words can make for God’s kingdom.

    • Thanks Judy. God gave me Sara’s email in perfect time for me to have a good reason to say “yes” to the WaterCooler’s admin’s request/need to have someone fill in for this day’s post. He truly works in mysterious ways!

    • I’m always challenged by Acts 20:35. Science says we experience positive brain changes when we give, so the blessing flow physically, emotionally, and spiritually – but most important, eternally. Thanks for stopping by, Karen!

  2. I love this story!! I like to give away my books too, and sometimes when I find out it’s a pastor or missionary that’s purchased a book from me, I will send them more than they ordered so they can use it in ministry.

    • I’m so glad to hear this, Carrie! You like to give away books too. It’s rewarding, isn’t it?

      I, too, love when pastors, missionaries, and evangelists buy or receive my books. You give to one, you give to many.

    • Hi Connie! It’s an life-long learning process, isn’t it? Listening and acting. And the more we act on the little we hear, the more we hear. Thanks for your comment!

  3. Wow. What an amazing story!

    I don’t have a book of my own to give away (not yet anyway), but I do have His love to share in kindness, mercy, love, and sometimes “business cards.” I have a set that says:

    Do you know the answers?
    1. Where will you spend eternity?
    2. How do you know for certain?
    3. If Heaven is your destination, how will you get there?

    “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard… the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” ~ 1 Cor. 2:9

    “Whoever believes in HIm should not perish but have everlasting life.” ~ John 3:16

    I was a new believer when a very bold man, not knowing if I was born again, asked me these very questions and in this order. Had I not been a believer, I wouldn’t have had answers.

    Anyway, thanks for this story and encouragement.

    Blessings.

    • Darlene, I LOVE hearing how you came to faith through someone’s “random” act of witness! It’s story’s like yours that encourage Christians to step out zones and sow some good seeds!

      Your business cards sound great!

      When my husband went to Russia with Josh McDowell and team, they gave away the translated copies of “More than a Carpenter” and watched God do the rest.

      There are many great ways we can use our gifts to share God’s love.

  4. I love this beautiful example of being available and open for God’s use. He never disappoints, does He? At the same time satan never fails to whisper doubt in our ear so we walk away feeling silly or embarrassed. Thank you for heeding His call. These are the simple acts that can change the world.

    • You’re wise to realize we’re in a spiritual battle. Satan HATES when we reach out to others, so he tries the ol’ let’s-make-them-self-conscious-technique.

      I peeked at your blog, btw. Keep up the good work, and God bless!

  5. Sooooooo precious! I love it when God does stuff like this. He could do it on his own but He chooses to work through us. Wow. What a great story, Cheryl! So inspiring. I was amazed at just the book and letter, but then to hear the woman was in an accident. To think that God knew that would happen when He sent you do her. Blows. Me. Away. 🙂

    • Thanks Dineen! God is truly amazing! And when I received Sara’s email, that’s how I felt ~ BLOWN AWAY! It was truly a faith-building experience. And it happened right after meditating on Psalm 37:23 (NLT)

      The Lord directs the steps of the godly.
      He delights in every detail of their lives.

      This verse reminds me how much God loves his children. Even when things don’t go the way we’d like, God has good plan. Isn’t that comforting?

  6. Random acts of witness — I love that, Cheryl. And I so appreciate your generous heart, turned tenderly toward Christ, who calls us to act beyond what we imagine we can do. Thanks for the ideas, and inspiring me to say yes, when He calls me to give.

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